It’s been a busy summer.
The summer started with our successful Kickstarter drive for the Psalm 103 project, and since then our Executive Board has been busy getting contracts written and signed, making travel arrangements for our composers, planning the October weekend in Bloomington, and more. We’re very excited about the way the weekend is shaping up, and you’ll notice that we’ve added details for the public part of the weekend to our calendar. We’ve also created a Facebook event. If you’re going to be around, please come! It should be a great evening.
In the midst of those responsibilities, my own summer has also been full with my “other” life, concerned as it is with musical activities at my own parish, as well as academic and family pursuits, but I was also lucky enough to participate in a couple of musical gatherings sponsored by their respective jurisdictions. In June, I went to Cleveland, OH for the Liturgical Singing Seminar for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia’ Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, put on by our Advisory Board member Kurt Sander and his wife Larissa. I got to sing a lot of amazing polyphonic Slavic repertoire, I met people like Jared Brewer, Sergey Furmanov, and Dn. Alexander Petrovsky, all fantastic church musicians in the Russian idiom, and made several new friends, too numerous to name. The services at St. Sergius Cathedral, including Vigil Saturday evening and the hierarchical Divine Liturgy that Sunday, were hours spent in heaven in every way.
Also, in July, I both represented Holy Apostles and was invited to teach a Byzantine chant class at the 2013 Convention for the Mid-Eastern Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians at Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Cincinnati. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know other GOA musicians in the area, including the great Evey Simon (my heart just soared when she started a rehearsal by saying, “If a rehearsal starts at 8:30, that means you’re ready to sing at 8:30, it doesn’t mean you’re sauntering through the door at 8:35”), Chris Zervos, Emanuel Creekus, Ted Niforos, Stan and Nancy Takis, Janice Kellaris, and others; I also got to meet His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas for the first time. I hopefully didn’t embarrass myself too badly talking about the Third Mode, and it was a joy to help chant Orthros and then join the choir for Divine Liturgy. Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas was a lovely church in which to sing, to say the least. I look forward to MEFGOX 2014 in Columbus!
It’s been a blessing to have such a productive summer, and I’m very excited to see how what we’ve got planned for the fall turns out. Keep an eye on this space for more details!